Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Greetings of the Season and Best Wishes for a Happy New Year

How do they celebrate Christmas in Turkey? Simply put, they/ We don't!

But the New Year is recognised with greetings, decorations, gifts, and parties, so you would be forgiven if you thought that it was Christmas that was being celebrated. Christmas Day is a normal workday in the office, so expatriates have to take vacation if they don't want to work that day. The only holiday is New Year's Day, but people do take an extra day or so to extend that.

However, there are quite a number of expatriates from Western countries in Ankara who do celebrate Christmas. Christmas trees are available for purchase, along with decorations to go on them. The bigger hotels have special Christmas menus, and Santa Claus has been known to visit. As St. Nicolas was a Bishop in Myra, Turkey, this seems appropriate. Children from the German School and the British School give carol concerts in the Hilton on successive Sunday afternoons, and the choir and band from the American High School sing and play in the Sheraton. These hotels, and others, have Christmas trees, and the Sheraton also has a gingerbread house six feet high.

The expatriate community holds parties, dinner dances, and celebrations large and small. The Anglican Church connected with the British Embassy (St. Nicolas again!)has a Nativity Play put on by the children. Also a Carol Service, followed by mince pies and mulled wine; a Midnight Communion on Christmas Eve; and a family Service on Christmas Day.

So, although there is no public or official recognition of Christmas, there is enough going on that it is not too different from home.

Finally, from all in Ankara, Turkey:

Saglik ve Mutluluk Dileklerimizle Yeni Yilinizi Kutlariz !

which means

Greetings of the Season and Best Wishes for a Happy New Year

2 comments:

arzu said...

teşekkürler, sizlerinde kutlu olsun...
bende Aralık ayının ilk haftası agcımı süsleyeceğim. Geyiklerimi çıkardım bile cama astım. Süperler. Kırmızı mumlarda eklendi. Güzel bir yeni yıl için hazırlıklar yavaş yavaş tamamlanıyor...:-)
Sevdiklerinizle birlikte mutlu senelere...

yuvakuran said...

Hi Haluk
Thank you for the greetings and for the insight into the holiday season in Turkey. It is good to know that a country which is predominantly Islam tolerates other faiths and,as in the UK allows religious festivals to be celebrated without let or hindrance.

The majority of wars throughout the ages have been caused by
religious differences. More so than the acquisition of new
territories.

Apart from possibly Ghengis Khan and a few other despots, the instigators of this world's ethnic cleansing have been the religious
leaders.
Maybe one day, long after you and I have departed this mortal coil,it
will become obvious to those survivors of Armageddon, that maybe
there is only one diety responsible for life on earth and they should respect his/her rules and live in harmony with their brothers and sisters.

Forgive me if I seem to be breaking the rules and spouting religion but your post gave me hope that we are not completely lost to the war lords.

Thanks for your input Haluk

As always

Wings